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Melinda Szymanik Awarded 2023 Shanghai Writing Residency

After a break in the residency exchange programme due to the global pandemic, we are very happy to announce that, Melinda Szymanik has been selected as the fourth New Zealand writer to join the Shanghai Writers’ Association’s International Writing Programme.

This opportunity is available through a partnership between the Michael King Writers Centre, the New Zealand China Friendship Society, the Shanghai Writers’ Association and the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Melinda will join writers from eight other countries around the world for two months in Shanghai in September and October this year. The writers receive free accommodation in an inner-city apartment, a small stipend for living expenses and air travel.

Since the exchange began in 2013 four Chinese writers have enjoyed a residency at the Michael King Writers Centre. In 2013 Huo Yan, a young writing star from Beijing, took up the first Fellowship and in 2015 acclaimed novelist Xiao Bai from Shanghai was the second resident and Yin Jian Ling, a poet, essayist, novelist and literary critic, was the 2017 resident. In 2019 Sun Wei, described as one of China’s most original and leading voices came to the centre for her residency.

In 2014 Alison Wong was the first New Zealand writer selected to join the international writers’ programme in Shanghai – Heidi North Bailey followed on in 2016 and Frances Edmond in 2018.

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Michael King Writers Centre Chair Melanie Laville-Moore says, ‘After a Covid-forced hiatus, the Michael King Writers Centre Trust is delighted that its longstanding, reciprocal partnership with the NZ China Friendship Society is once again up and running. We warmly congratulate Melinda Syzmanik on her forthcoming residency to Shanghai’.

Chris Lipscombe, National President of New Zealand China Friendship Society said, 'Melinda is an award-winning poet and author of stories for young people. During her residency she will have ample opportunity to soak up the sights and sounds of modern Shanghai, as well as explore the city's cultural and historical undercurrents. Our Society is excited to extend this opportunity to Melinda and we look forward to hearing about her experiences in Shanghai on her return.'

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